Sorting out the future for online video advertising

BOth GMTV’s and ITV’s Web plans show that UK market is gradually taking shape. You can now see online video content and video ads on sites

Duncan%20SouthgateThe UK has been slow to jump on the online video bandwagon, mostly because broadcasters have been working out how best to structure their video content, and this has made advertisers cautious. Many questions still need to be explored: can advertisers simply put their TV ads on YouTube and expect a positive result? What types of online video format are most effective?.

The first in a series of studies by Millward Brown and Dynamic Logic’s Futures Group shows that online video advertising can be highly effective. The research shows that marketers can extend their made-for-TV ad campaigns to online TV programming with very positive results. The study was conducted for three major brands and looked at the impact of identical 30-second video advertising shown on prime-time TV, time-shifted TV via PVRs, and online as streaming video. It shows that online viewers were 53% more likely to pay attention to ads during commercial breaks than live TV viewers.

Ad recall was four times higher among viewers of the online format than for live or time-shifted viewers, in large part due to the online tests showing the same ad (and only that ad) three to six times during the course of a single programme – a level of engagement simply not possible on live TV. Showing the online video ads in this manner had a much greater impact on brand favourability, but there were also signs this can lead more quickly to ad wear-out. Knowing this, marketers and media owners may want to vary the creative executions shown during online shows. While TV will continue to be the major high-reach vehicle to distribute a brand’s video message, online video can be a very good complement to it.

Both GMTV’s and ITV’s Web plans show the UK market is gradually taking shape. You can now see online video content and video ads on sites such as and The market for online video advertising will be a major growth area. Media owners should be working to build and refine models acceptable to site users, which can also provide an engaging and memorable communication medium for brands. Advertisers should be looking to explore and understand the opportunities online video represents.

Duncan Southgate, Millward Brown

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